Long summer days industrial photography.

Long summer days mean late nights.

 Industrial photography.

Industrial photography.

Long summer days can be productive if you need sunshine and skies..but for dusk and night photography the days only mean very late finishes and early starts.

Getting just the right balance of darkening sky and the working lights influencing the scene can be a short window of opportunity.  The 'Golden hour'..and 'Blue hour' are often used to describe the changing light from day to night. Getting just the right time to get a night sky and yet still have enought light to contrast the structure against the sky to retain it's shape and form but still dark enough to let the working lights on the building or structure to create the magical pools of light is more an art of observation than science. 

Spring and Autumn are often a great time for dramatic skies full of colour as the low sun helps the high level clouds to 'catch fire'  but not everyone has time to wait for just the right sunset/sunrise so in the meanwhile it's sleep depravation time.

Oil and Gas Photographers

Oil and Gas Photographers.

 Oil refinery photography

Oil refinery photography

Working in an explosive environment, I do like to have structure and order in my images..it adds to a visual composition that adds clarity to a photo - using people as scale and points of colour to draw the viewer into the photo.

Sometimes in complicated environments where there is a lot going on visually adding carefully positioned people into the image can add a controlled 'quite' moment in the chaos to help the viewer see and understand the context of the whole environment.

 Oil and gas and energy photographers international industrial photographers.

Oil and gas and energy photographers international industrial photographers.

I was asked to describe my work recently and came to the opinion that my 'style' is 'classic industrial'..in so far as it's a style of imagery that shows the thing being photographed as recognisable and using it's own form to create a visual image that tells the story. 

Safety is paramount, all my camera and lighting kit is battery powered..and to the best of my knowledge there are no usable to the image quality and versatility required intrinsically safe housings for the camera and variety of lenses. So under permit working it's always a 'hot works' permit on the basis of there could be a source of ignition from the camera or battery with everyone wearing a gas detector to monitor the changing conditions… the regular 'chirp' of the detector always ever present.  

Battery Storage Capacity.

EDF to invest $8 billion in battery storage capacity.

 Battery storage capacity.

Battery storage capacity.

Next time you complain about no charge on your mobile phone just think what happens if there was no electicity left to switch on the TV, lights or your computer. 

Think of the electricty demand peak events such as commercial breaks in the X factor finals or the forthcoming royal wedding, those peak demands on generation planning require many assets to be brought on line just at the right moment, those assets needing to be running at full power before switching in the generators to produce the electricity.

To be able to draw down at a milliseconds notice enough electricity to bridge the gap between demand and generation means generation resources can be used more efficiently, and store power produced by renewable sources.

EDF have announced an $8 billion (£7 billion) investment over the next 2 decades in battery storage capacity, having already commissioned and brought online a 49MW facility they are continuing to move towards reduced carbon eneregy production.  

Nine images.

How do you choose only nine images, if you have looked at the portfolio pages on this website the issue seems to be too many rather than too few. I'm still looking at choosing a much smaller number of images to show my industrial photography, but am having separtion issues about reducing content.

9 images text.jpg

I ask myself..often..is it enough just to show a few images that show the type of work you do, or will visitors only assume that is all you can do..if you show a picture of an oil refinery can viewers make the visual jump to a paint factory. 

As an industrial photographer the locations we work in can be very diverse but still require the same level of creativity and skill to achieve great loooking images. Then add into the mix shooting to brand image guides and also creative post production, all making the body of work more diverse and creatively different.

I understand about creating a body of work on a single subject but if that is what you show will viewers ony think that is all you can produce. Perhaps it's time to hand this off to a picture editor or photo rep to decide, perhaps just too near the subject to understand the core of my own photography. 

Photoshop light leaks, cool tones and atmospheres.

Using photography blurs, light leaks, colour tone in Photoshop retouching to create atmosphere in location photography. 

 Working to a brand's visual language.

Working to a brand's visual language.

Creating the image can just be the start of getting the photography to the client or designer, many international companies have over time developed their brand standards or visual language on how they want to show their business.

Although much can be done in post production, shooting the original content with the purpose of using post production photoshop adjustments will formulate the approach and compositions the photographer is aiming for.

The creative photoshop work is about creating a mood or feeling, working within a tonal or colour palette and engaging the viewer into the conversation. Using tone, colour and areas of light leaks and selective focus the photographer can draw the viewer into the parts of the image is the message.

Using creative post production techniques and photoshop to create the final image or library of images helps to identify your image style - making your media more quickly recognisable..giving your images a personality that reflects your business' values and culture. 

It's the whole package - the creation of the original photography on location working with post production Photoshop and Lightroom production techniques.  

 The human context of industrial photography.

The human context of industrial photography.

 Creative photoshop retouching for creative atmosphere in the workplace. Annual Report Photography.

Creative photoshop retouching for creative atmosphere in the workplace. Annual Report Photography.

Safety briefing.

Site safety inductions.

Throughout the course of a year it is fair to say that I get many safety inductions and briefings, as a contractor that in most cases goes to each site or location only a few times during the course of a project I am often going to a new location every week.

 Screen shot from my LinkedIn feed.

Screen shot from my LinkedIn feed.

I have had my fair share of 'site welfare' use over the years..and every cup of coffee is always accepted with good heart and thanks. Some work sites are only temporary for the duration of a particular operation - these tend to have a smaller compliment of crews typically 10 -20 persons.

So by way of' thanks for the coffee' I will sometimes bring a 'something' for the site mess, upon presenting the sweet treats to the project manager "ah it's coffee time..come down and meet the team..you can do a tool box talk" 

I was introduced and asked to talk about my gift - it was great opportunity meet everyone and very brief tell the story of the message on the boxes, I really wanted to let everyone know that safety was the number one priority and thank them in advance for looking out for me.

The picture on the boxes is my one family - it's a few years old now but just reminds us all of what we would miss if we did not return home from work.




Brent Delta - the old lady of the North Sea.

Recycling of offshore oil gas rigs. Shell Brent Delta demolition photography.

  Brent Delta at the start of demolition. Offshore Photographer.

 Brent Delta at the start of demolition. Offshore Photographer.

Shell's Brent Delta one of the largest and oldest oil production platforms in the North Sea has been  brought to shore at the end of it's working life.

After nearly 40 years at sea (just think how long your car would last in that environment) the 44 meter tall excluding the flare stack, 24,000 tonne structure will be environmentally dismantled at the Able UK's Seaton Port, Hartlepool, UK with over 97% to be recycled.

A massive undertaking even taking the title 'largest ever marine lift' -to date anyway. It's the beginning of a new industry at such a scale, the decommissioning of such structures and the legal requiremnts for companies to remove such structures at the end of their working lives will see more growth in this offshore sector.   

How can you think of a photo at a time like this?

A bit 'off topic' for an industrial photographer, but here goes...

A couple of weeks ago after a short period of ill health I said goodbye for the last time to our loved family dog, Ted - a black Labrador retriever gave our family 10 years of joy, love, unfaltering friendliness to all visitors to our home...wether they liked it or not. He was always there for to good times and the not so good times in our lives, in fact as in any family there is always times when someone is if you excuse the pun 'the dog house' he was always the constant 'best friend' to go too for a hug..and a lick.

Anyone who has a pet that is a member of the family will appreciate just how much they are loved and when we have to choose to ed their suffering it's a hard choice and difficult thing to contemplate, and yes I know it's 'for the best' 'think of their quality of life' 'it's the kindness thing' is not really a comfort at the time.

So...I took some pictures of the 'fella' a couple of hours before he went to sleep for the last time, perhaps it was my way of dealing with what we were about to do.

Was it the for a short time I could be distracted from the grief and sadness of the inevitable by switching into 'pro' mode or was it trying to 'keep' those last moments forever..knowing that in a short time I would never be able to revisit this subject ever again, or wanting to honour him in my own way by keeping a moment of his life forever.

Do not misunderstand me..it's about circumstance and if Ted was distressed or needed something  it would have always taken precedence, all I will say about his condition was that he was not in pain..his mind was strong but his body was failing him..I just find myself questioning what made me think to pick up a camera-choose a specific lens and compose an image.

 Black Labrador retriever. Image copyright - Chris Henderson Photographer 

Black Labrador retriever. Image copyright - Chris Henderson Photographer 

Goodbye 'big lad', you went to sleep wagging your tail..you've left a big space in our family, our home and our hearts.


RUK/GWO WAH & Rescue Wind Turbines, GWO Sea Survival, RUK MST Vessel Transit & Transfer.

More training completed. GWO RUK

 GWO RUK WAH Working at height and rescue training for offshore wind and renewables.

GWO RUK WAH Working at height and rescue training for offshore wind and renewables.

Opito BOSIET + CA-EBS, MIST +Norwegian Sect.  RUK/GWO WAH & Rescue Wind Turbines, GWO Sea Survival, RUK MST Vessel Transit & Transfer, CSCS+Working at Height..the list of industry safety training is getting longer.

Let's get straight to it..all this training takes time and incurs considerable expense, however it does open up opportunities for access to client commissions.

The oil and gas industry although has had a tough time of late is still a thriving industry with many new projects in planning, the renewables and wind energy generation is a fast growing but still quite a young industry that continues to grow.

To support an ongoing commission I was asked to undertake safety training to enable access to offshore wind turbines and construction vessels, this involves not just getting to and transiting to the structures, but also climbing and in an emergency escaping from the top nacel or performing a rescue of a colleague, as well as sea survival.

Most of the vessels involved in the construction of offshore wind installations require the oil and gas BOSIET, this covers also sea survival, fire fighting, escape from smoke filled compartments and the HUET..a simulated helicopter ditching at sea and underwater inversion.

Although there were many areas of learning that cross over each has specific areas of training to cover, and stepping off an approx 30 meter training tower to experience how the Milan controlled rate descender works takes a bit of nerve.

I completed both BOSIET and RUK/GWO courses with Advanced Industrial Solutions Newcastle facility..worlds class facilities, knowledgeable training delivered by some great instructors..and the on site food facility provides great quality hearty meals with plenty of dietary choices (fyi-I'm not selling AIS..bit praising the whole set-up)

So...want some offshore projects photographed..I'm qualified. 

A World First- EDF Wind Farm Bases Floating.

Floating Wind Gravity Bases. Renewables offshore photographers.

It was great to see the EDF wind gravity base being released from it's construction drydock, in the dawn light 04.30 the first floating base was gently drawn from the flood drydock into the river Tyne, Wallsend, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. 

This sees the end of the construction phase photography, now it's onto the offshore installation operation-really looking forward to seeing the completed project installed towards the end of this year. Having my offshore BOSIET etc means access to the construction vessels-mostly Dutch so guaranteed great coffee and creamer. (these are important details for a coffee powered photographer!) 

 Wind gravity bases leaving drydock.

Wind gravity bases leaving drydock.

 Wind gravity base en-route to installation location off coast of Blyth, Northumberland.

Wind gravity base en-route to installation location off coast of Blyth, Northumberland.

EDF ER Chief Executive Matthieu Hue said:

“This is the first major offshore operation on this project and over the coming months people will be able to see the wind farm being built out at sea. This ground-breaking scheme will benefit the North East of England and help the UK to meet its future low carbon electricity needs.

“This is the first time that this float and submerge method has been used on a wind farm project.

The GBFs are held in place by gravity and this unique design reduces the need to use expensive marine equipment for the installation on the sea bed.”


 Wind farm gravity base floating down the river Tyne, watched by an onlooker on an electric bycycle.

Wind farm gravity base floating down the river Tyne, watched by an onlooker on an electric bycycle.

edf wind farm base floating down river offsore

These are a few of the image that were sent out within a couple of hours of the base floating down river, the wind and renewables industry pr, press and social news feeds made for some wide coverage of this world first across the world. 

Clear thinking

The importance of a clear strategy communicated effectively can never be underestimated.

 Find what you are looking for.

Find what you are looking for.

-Photographers are hired on the basis of geographical location, specialism, nepotism or sometimes just being in the right place at the right time -Photographers will often accept work because it's good business, they need the money, there's an empty space in the diary, too scared and too poor to say no, and in between those states is the angst of the void.

Is this the best I can do, will I ever work again, can I sustain the workload, how can I be in two places at once, is it worth the grief, everyones work is better...was I ever good enough? 

I have always liked the quote by Steve McQueen 'racing is life-anything before or after is just waiting', creating new work is both at the same time an opportunity for greatness or disappointment, a moment to define your condition-validate your creative or technical expertise in your chosen creative medium.

I have always struggled with the void between assignments-finding 'busy' work to do, researching locations, sales, social media, the accounts-VAT-Tax, looking for that 'something' that will be the eureka moment, looking for the dream client or assignment that is more important than life itself. 

There are many 'business coaches' out there who I'm sure can help me for a fee to understand what my goals are, have the mindset to win those dream jobs and achieve greatness..although I do question what greatness is these days!

One of the best tools for both business and mind-it doesn't cost a fortune, has no ongoing consultancy fees and minimal application costs..a magnetic whiteboard.

I put one of these up in my office some time back, it has listed the usual whiteboard stuff-all current work-things to do/remember-picture of the kids and dog and those free promotional magnets you get sent for your refrigerator door.

The most useful feature is the section for 'thoughts' the place where I layout goals and targets and any useful info and resources, it's the place where I can stand back-look with clarity at the next thing to do, don't underestimate the power of accomplishment in wiping off an item..it is liberating and addictive!

It's too easy to be swamped by the sheer mass of influences we take in, after all that's how we thrive and grow as creatives-letting these distractions add to our own interpretations, but in all the noise we need to hear our own soundtrack.          








Water industry photography.

Photographers annual report photography.

 Annual Report photography for the Regulated Water Industry.

Annual Report photography for the Regulated Water Industry.

Setting the right tone, getting the message to your shareholders annual report photography.

Every client has a different way that they like to have their photography show the way they are seen by their own industry, but how the photography is shot can also advertise their business communications to stakeholders and investors.

Sometimes editorial style photography works better, it can be 'looser' and more 'real' giving the feeling of the moment, great for people photography content. Other times the message of investment through plant and machinery photography show physical financial investment.

My own photographic style is a bit of both, I like to create, light, set up location photography. Its perhaps a little more in the traditional industrial photography style in so far as it has a higher technical standard to the image creation, but also incorporate people photography into the location.

Getting the tone just right-making the people look empowered, engaged and professional is key to telling the editorial story whilst creating a good technical image.